August 22nd, 2016 by Tim Evans
Will school district consolidation save New Jersey taxpayers money? It might, but equally important, it might lead to better land-use decisions that preserve open space, reinvigorate downtowns and main streets, and relieve the pressure on towns to expand sprawling infrastructure. This article delves into and explains the little-understood relationship between how we pay for our schools in New Jersey and the land-use development decision-making our local leaders get backed into making. Spoiler alert: A move to more regional school districts would diffuse the fiscal effects of land development and allow local officials to concentrate less on “What ratable do we need?” or “How many school kids is this development going to generate?” and more on “What land uses are best for our community?”
August 10th, 2016 by New Jersey Future staff
This article was written by New Jersey Future 2016 summer intern Rachel Host.
Online sources show 137 public schools in New Jersey have tested positive for lead in at least one drinking water outlet this year.
Lead in drinking water is a serious concern that has come to the public’s attention recently with the crisis in Flint, Michigan, and subsequent discoveries of lead contamination in other cities around the country. New Jersey is not immune to this problem, and lead has been discovered in drinking water across the state. Read the rest of this entry »
July 28th, 2016 by Elaine Clisham
“If it looks like water, it’s water.”
Former New Jersey Gov. and U.S. EPA Administrator Christie Whitman started the Jersey Water Works’ inaugural membership meeting July 25 by highlighting the scope of the problem we face. “We can’t make any more water,” she said, and our infrastructure systems are old, leaking, unsafe and, in New Jersey, particularly susceptible to the threat of climate change. No one entity can fix it alone, she continued, so it’s going to have to be “all of us.” Results will only come via the kind of collaboration at all levels that Jersey Water Works is fostering. Read the rest of this entry »
July 27th, 2016 by Louise Wilson
Pilot Towns Take Off
New Jersey Future’s Mainstreaming Green Infrastructure program is designed to move forward on three tracks: working with developers and their design professionals; identifying and advancing demonstration projects; and working intensively with towns – specifically, three pilot towns – to help them fully embrace exemplary stormwater management practices and advance the use of green infrastructure in public and private development projects.
The program’s focus is statewide through its work with developers and ordinance recommendations, but it also has a special emphasis on smaller communities located in critical Delaware River watershed areas of northwest Jersey’s Highlands and in south Jersey’s Kirkwood Cohansey Aquifer area of coastal plain, which includes the Pinelands. Read the rest of this entry »
July 13th, 2016 by New Jersey Future staff
The New Jersey Utilities Association has awarded the utility industry’s highest honor, the NJUA Distinguished Service Award, to Robert J. Iacullo for his leadership and accomplishments on behalf of New Jersey’s investor-owned utilities. The award was presented during the Association’s 101st Annual Conference.
A current trustee of New Jersey Future, Mr. Iacullo retired from SUEZ North America in 2016 after 36 years, most recently as executive vice president, overseeing the support services of environmental compliance, health and safety, operations support, corporate communications, regulatory relations and external affairs for SUEZ North America’s water and wastewater businesses across the nation. In this capacity, he had overall responsibility for supporting the company’s utility and environmental services business lines. Read the rest of this entry »
June 24th, 2016 by Kandyce Perry
As part of New Jersey Future’s effort to mainstream green infrastructure across the state, two workshops for design professionals were conducted, rounding out the workshop series. (See a recap on the workshop for municipal leaders here.) Attendees included municipal and consulting engineers, architects and landscape architects who design and/or review stormwater management systems. Ten firms, one municipality, one county, the New Jersey Department of Transportation and the Pinelands Commission were represented at the Pinelands region workshop and eight design firms, two municipalities, four counties, the New Jersey Department of Transportation, and the Highlands Council were represented at the workshop in northwest New Jersey. Read the rest of this entry »
June 23rd, 2016 by New Jersey Future staff
The Association of State Floodplain Managers has honored New Jersey Future with its national 2016 Tom Lee State Award for Excellence in Floodplain Management. The award recognizes New Jersey Future’s report In Deep, which reviews lessons from the organization’s innovative post-Sandy local recovery planning manager program.
The pilot program involved placing experienced planners in six selected municipalities to assist with short-term recovery, help evaluate offers of post-disaster assistance, secure additional resources, and facilitate decision-making to increase long-term resiliency. These professionals were made available at no cost to the participating towns, through funding from the Merck Foundation and the New Jersey Recovery Fund.
The In Deep report examines the origin and outcomes of the groundbreaking approach to helping communities take steps to make themselves more resilient to natural disasters and summarizes the lessons learned from those engagements. It also contains recommendations on how to build upon the pilot program, including a call for funding local recovery planning managers as a standard government practice after a major disaster.
The Association of State Floodplain Managers presents the Tom Lee State Award for Excellence in Floodplain Management annually to recognize an outstanding floodplain management program or activity at the state level.
June 2nd, 2016 by New Jersey Future staff
New Jersey Future Deputy Executive Director Teri Jover has been named Sustainable Jersey’s Sustainability Hero for June 2016! Below is an edited version of the announcement that ran in the Sustainable Jersey newsletter.
For more than 15 years, Teri Jover has worked in the nonprofit sector to champion the advancement of sustainable and healthy communities in New Jersey. Teri is the energetic chairwoman of Sustainable Highland Park, a volunteer-driven organization that achieved silver-level Sustainable Jersey certification for Highland Park Borough in 2013.
One of Teri’s biggest undertakings with Sustainable Highland Park was Highland Park’s US EPA Climate Showcase Communities Grant, which resulted in the creation of the borough’s “In Our Power Campaign,” Climate Action Plan and Home Energy Assessment Program. Under Teri’s leadership, Sustainable Highland Park has hosted three annual Earth Day celebrations, which have attracted hundreds of residents and engaged them in sustainability issues and practices as well as local music and food. Teri is the chair of Sustainable Jersey’s Land Use and Transportation Task Force and has been an invaluable supporting partner contributing to the development of the Sustainable Jersey program. Read the rest of this entry »
May 26th, 2016 by Elaine Clisham
Jersey Water Works is coordinating a 13-person delegation to the U.S. Water Alliance’s One Water Summit in Atlanta June 8-10. The delegation, representative of many of the sectors that make up the core of Jersey Water Works’ committees, includes three members of the collaborative’s Steering Committee. All members of the delegation are supporting members of Jersey Water Works.
Two of the delegates — Drew Curtis and Margaret Waldock — will also appear on panels at the event, and a representative will speak at the closing plenary about Jersey Water Works’ innovative, cross-sector approach to the problem of water infrastructure in the Garden State. Read the rest of this entry »
May 25th, 2016 by Jane Rosenblatt
Gloucester City, Jersey City, and Perth Amboy will receive technical assistance and engineering support services to design innovative, financeable projects that reduce combined sewer outflows (CSOs) while also making neighborhoods and downtowns better places to live, work, and invest.
New Jersey Future today announced that three cities – Gloucester City, Jersey City, and Perth Amboy – have been selected by the Build It Green (BIG) Competition to receive technical assistance and engineering support services. The BIG Competition, launched in partnership with re:focus partners and with the generous support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s New Jersey Health Initiative, will catalyze the design and implementation of integrated, creative projects that reduce combined sewer overflows (CSOs) while generating multiple local environmental and health benefits. For example, roads can be repaved with porous pavement when installing underground broadband infrastructure to improve the economic prospects of local residents and businesses and simultaneously reduce surface water runoff. Read the rest of this entry »